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UFT Executive Board January 7, 2018--We Support LA Teachers and Discuss Election

Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us..

Speakers—

Betty Godfried—retired Adult ed. CL—After 7 years, Rose Marie Mills has been removed (applause) and is being reassigned. Third time an unsuitable admin has been dismissed in recent years. Only teachers or paras are discontinued. Admin is moved around. Rank and file made these things happen. Current fight was in service and retired members who were victimized.

Ended illegal test procedures, articles published, met with reps, spoke here. Documented activities, will prepare packet. Thanks Schoor for giving it to Mills, thanks Mulgrew for meeting, would’ve liked more support. Carmen Alvarez also supportive. Still long way to go, issues need to be resolved. New superintendent may need guidance. Union may need to negotiate. Thanks teachers for all the work they did, thanks for applause, thanks for those who do listen, says coming here has made a difference.

This ten minute mike one of last bastions of true union democracy. Giving voice to voiceless is doing something good.

David Price—CL Bard HS Queens—Teachers at school want to know what UFT will do in solidarity with UTLA. Happy to see resolution in favor. Concerned that DA is after the 10th. Proposed resolved.

Schoor—Only members may propose resolutions.

Price—Urges members to add resolved that UFT invite UTLA leaders to speak before elected bodies, and that we publicize UTLA campaigns. Has members who want to donate to strike fund, would rather contribute to that than COPE. We are in solid position to show strength.

Schoor—At last meeting I called on non-member of Exec. Board. We need to know who people are who come in so we are now requiring sign-ins. We welcome all members and retired members. We need to know why people are here if they are not members.

Minutes—approved

President’s report—Michael Mulgrew—Wishes us happy new year. Had Bronx plan rollout. Wants to thank staff. Was great event, with over 400 people. Idea of us saying we have challenged schools that will come up with their own plan is better, supported by UFT and DOE. Around country people just get rid of people. We have a better idea. Being part of contract says a lot about our values.

APPR number one issue in state negotiations. You would think 8301, the bill we wanted, since it was passed by Assembly, since Governor said he would sign it, you would assume it would be easy. There is a bit of a budget problem. State has 2 billion shortfall. Next year there will be major drop. We want state money for community learning to go to community learning. We want to put in safeguards. We want more money dispersed based on need. Governor argues for this, but we could argue he doesn’t do it. It’s now part of conversation.

Will probably be strike in LA. We’ll send things out to membership. We should wear red for them. We will send it out and move forward.

We will have fun this year, and thank you for being here.

LeRoy Barr—We will hopefully pass resolution on LA strike. Town Hall meeting on public advocate coming. 1/19 women’s march UFT will hold breakfast forum. We will send invite with address. Next Exec. Board 1/28, date needs to change. Next DA 1/16.

Schoor—Conflict on 1/28. Have two alternatives. 1/14, one week from today, or 1/22, day after MLK day. Suggests 22nd.

Shelvy Abrams—Move to have meeting on 22nd. Seconded.

Passed

Questions

Arthur Goldstein—I have two questions today. My first is recurring. Every teacher I know wants fewer observations. Every administrator I know, at least the ones who are not insane, wants fewer observations. Since the UFT and DOE seem to agree that our current system is broken and pointless, why can’t we agree to less of it now that we all agree?

A fair compromise, if we need one, would be to agree to one more observation for the second half, so as to get a fair view of what we did all year.

Secondly, I was shocked to read the DOE has something called a charter school space request form. I understand that Eva Moskowitz wants space. While I’d like as much space as possible between Eva and myself, and my students, I’m hard pressed to understand why her needs are more important than those of my sorely overcrowded school.

I appreciate the support we’ve gotten from leadership, and I appreciate that in a few years we will have more space. But we are a real school. Unlike Eva, I don’t just hire my kid in college to teach AP courses. Unlike Eva, UFT schools don’t grab just anyone and pay them minimum wage to teach children. Unlike Eva, if I were to make a kid pee his pants in class, I’d be up on charges.

If there is a charter school space request form to a board full of charter advocates, why don’t we press for one for real schools, with real training, real requirements, real jobs, and real teachers, like the one my students attend? Could we have a public school space request form to a board full of public school advocates? I’m a public school advocate and I volunteer for the board.

Schoor—will bring this up to chancellor and report back. Will ask Evelyn to speak to it.

Evelyn de Jesus—We are meeting internally. I know Michael spoke about contract. We are meeting internally, will have members on it. We cannot do it mid-year. Right now, this is not possible. We want to make sure that it rolls how we need. We will take it back to the committee, but it’s not going to happen as fast as you like.

Mike Schirtzer—Out of all new members that joined DOE, how many have joined? We are hearing that there is a shortage of special ed. teachers and that is causing compliance issues. Are there stats on that? Is DOE doing anything?

Schoor—We had 3000 agency feel payers in September. There are now fewer than 300 who have not signed. We signed up most of new people. We did outreach. Some people signed multiple cards, but only take dues once.

Mary Jo Jenice—Shortage is across the board. You can only be appointed under one license, so some are hard to detect.

Mike Sill—Of course we know there are issues. We have some people in excess, but very few. License is mostly absorbed every year. Of course this causes issues.

Kate Martin Bridge—In reference to compliance, curious about how registration happens. In small school, we’re projected to have 343 students, as always, but we get 380. Principal feels she can’t hire teachers she needs. You get OTC and you’re out of compliance. Why does DOE do this if it happens year after year?

Janella Hinds—We know office of enrollment makes decisions about which students go to which schools. We know some schools are left out. Some schools get very high percentages of SIFE students, newcomers, coming from incarceration. We are engaging with new admin about what this should look like.

Jonathan Halabi—When will we find out which schools will be included in Bronx plan?

Rich Mantel—115 schools showed up, 127 invited. We will see who applies and let you know.

Halabi—Tuition reimbursement for nurses has been changed. Are we doing anything about this?

Schoor—We will check. Send me email. We will fix if we are entitled.

Halabi—Contract implementation—Regents and program committees—Are they being formed?

Hinds—Will be formed after February 14.

Halabi—Having hard time understanding why my friend isn’t sitting with me today. Would like those I invite here to sit with me.

Schoor—You don’t want a visitor’s section?

Halabi—I would like people to sit with me.

Schoor—We will discuss this. We have to make sure we have security here.

KJ Ahluawala—One of our members is seriously ill. What is rationale for 2 to 1?

Schoor—No contractual agreement Board decided this. Has never come up in negotiations.

Ellen Fpx—guest—Interested party in new arrangement. I am a 12 year CL, 20 year delegate, 8 year Exec. Board member, 50 year UFT member. Shocked when we were asked to produce credentials. Listened very carefully. Seems there should be a better way to distinguish between outside forces and UFT members. Seems extremely disrespectful and strange. Respectfully request that UFT members can go back to do what they’ve always been doing. Press and others can use visitors section.

Schoor—Thank you. We will take that under consideration.

Report from districts—Rashad Brown—I gave flyer about Pride committee workshop—pathways to parenthood. Will be attorneys to talk about ways to have a child, including non traditional 1/26 4-6

Paul Egan—God exists and is an Eagles fan. Was great weekend. Chelsea won third round 2-0. Eagles won 16-15.

Mayor announced Public Advocate race 2/26. 23 people in race. Mark Viverito first one in, got first place on ballot. Third forum Brooklyn Thursday. Mulgrew will moderate. Will be panel. Filings finished 1/11. We can have conversation at DA on 16th.

Special order of business—Paul Egan—NY State is an embarrassment in terms of how elections are conducted. NC was sued for voter suppression, and Secretary of State used NY voting rules as defense for why there was not voter suppression in NC. That is an embarrassment. We are light years behind in voting and access. We have a number of ideas to open up and expand voting rights, early voting, automatic registration.

We have 2 million unregistered. Could be done via tax return, ID, driver license. Flexibility to change party should not be over a year in advance. Want permanent restoration of voting rights written in law, consolidation of party primaries. Same day registration, well-designed ballots. We want to encourage voting and make it easier. Polls open at different hours statewide, we should change that. We want ranking rather than runoffs. Would save money and make sure there is only one election.

Mike Schirtzer—Amendment—First whereas says malfunction—would like to add, “Working voting machines.” as request. Out of four where I was, three didn’t work.

Add resolved—“That the UFT will call on the NYC Board of Elections to implement these reforms.”

Paul Egan—Suggests we add NYC and NY State Board of Elections.

Passes as amended

LeRoy Barr—Rising to report you have two documents. Report that there were proposals.

All caucuses will get ads regardless of whether they have enough candidates to form a slate.
2. Caucuses may submit different material if they wish in two issues.
3. Camera ready material due on 2/5 and 3/5.

Second packet—would need to modify and add second date.

There is also candidate statement piece, and nominating petitions.

Arthur Goldstein—If Mike Schirtzer and I decide that we want to run as a caucus, can we get 2 pages in the NY teacher for Schirtzer Goldstein caucus--is that what I'm hearing?

Barr—Those who don’t meet requirement want to have representation in NY Teacher. If you are saying you have two, will assume that is correct.

Washington Sanchez—In essence, what Arthur said is correct. The committee did not want to prevent this. We didn’t think that would happen. Committee reserved right to come back and revisit the issue. Was lengthy discussion, many different views. Because of Janus we did not want anyone to feel slighted.

Michael Shulman—Basically, what LeRoy laid out was essence of discussion. Was not unanimous. Some raised same concern Arthur did. Decision was any caucus would be allowed two pages. We will follow the practice of allowing space. Independents were given space in NY teacher. Perhaps individuals will get space allotted in line with what has taken place in past.

Schoor—Any other comments?

Passes

LeRoy Barr—Next item is resolution in support of striking LA teachers. Our brothers and sisters are getting ready to strike. Want to make it clear we are in solidarity. Ask that we wear red on Thursday in solidarity. That would include telling them what’s going on. We can do that. We have at least two AFT VPs here. We are in contact with them. Our President will be in contact with what they specifically need. These people will decide. Wouldn’t be the best thing to hamstring them. Asking you support resolution before you.

Arthur Goldstein—amendment—add--Resolved—UFT will immediately publicize progress of the UTLA contract campaign to rank and file.

Resolved—UFT invite UTLA leaders to speak before January DA.

Resolved—UFT donate to UTLA strike fund.

Jonathan Halabi—Rises in support of original motion. This country had very strong union movement. Has been crippled. Public sector unions, particularly teacher unions are bulwark for us. Would hope maker of original motion and amendment can find common ground. Speaker already spoke to publicizing. Perhaps we could get video message. Not sure about donation, but sends important message. More we do publicly, the more we say that we take this very seriously. Hope we can bridge gap.

Evelyn de Jesus—I’m torn. Agree with Jonathan. Want to go to original motion. We have three AFT presidents. Don’t wish to tie their hands. We wish to speak to them. These amendments are not possible, but we may do them later on. Support original motion.

Rashad Brown—Calls question.

Debate closed.

Amendments fail.

Original motion passes. We are adjourned. 7:24.

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